Life can change in a matter of moments. As my mother always says: “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin may also have been known to utter the phrase once or twice, but still, I’ll give credit to my mom. Preparation is key whether you’re talking to your child about an upcoming exam, a deposition, or the operations of a community association. A community association’s board of trustees has a duty to protect the community by ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents, which includes a wide range of responsibilities, from maintaining the common areas, enforcing community rules and regulations, to protecting the association from damage, whether by natural or manmade forces, and ensuring disrupted services are promptly returned to operation. Taking steps once disaster strikes is too late. Community associations need to plan in advance and establish protocols for responding to disasters before, during, and after to mitigate against damage, lessen the impact on the community, and expeditiously return to full operations following a disaster or temporary disruption of services.

Enter the Disaster Preparedness Plan. A Disaster Preparedness Plan is a set of procedures and guidelines that a community association can follow in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other crisis. The plan outlines steps to take before, during, and after a disaster to protect the safety of residents and the integrity of the community’s property. Community associations are nothing without the residents and the association’s property. One of the main reasons why community associations should create a Disaster Preparedness Plan is to protect the safety of residents and the integrity of the association’s property. This includes ensuring that residents are aware of the risks associated with potential disasters on their community, providing them with information on how to stay safe during an emergency, having a plan in place for evacuating the community, if necessary, and taking steps to minimize (and repair) the damage that can be caused in the aftermath of a disaster.

A Disaster Preparedness Plan can also help minimize the financial impact of a disaster on a community association. By identifying potential hazards and taking steps to minimize the damage they can cause, a community association can reduce the amount of money it will need to spend on remedial measures, repairs, and restoration. Additionally, by having a Disaster Preparedness Plan in place to respond quickly and efficiently to a disaster can help community associations maintain continuity of operations, which means that the association can continue to provide essential services to residents, such as security, maintenance, and other critical functions even in the aftermath of a disaster. A Disaster Preparedness Plan is a critical tool that community associations can use to protect the safety of residents and the integrity of the community’s property in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation. If your community association doesn’t have a Disaster Preparedness Plan in place, what are you waiting for?

Want to learn more about disaster preparedness and business continuity planning for community associations? Join John Prisco, Esq., at the 2023 IREM® Tri-State Conference & Expo Feb. 16, 2023, at Caesars Atlantic City where he will be presenting on disaster preparedness and continuity planning for community associations, multi-residential buildings, and commercial properties. For more information CLICK HERE.